Monday, September 08, 2008

Tofu Toddler

Rosa likes to "cook". One of Dave's friends gave her a small wooden cutting board, wooden fruits and vegetables, and a small wooden knife. She also has various cups and spoons. She regularly makes us "vegetable soup", offering Dave or me a spoon to "taste" her creation. We always tell her that it's delicious, sometimes reminding her to add a little salt. ;) Occasionally she makes pasta, her hands-down favorite food. Last week she came to me with a spoonful to taste, and I asked her what it was. She said "tofu" and my heart melted.

I know tofu gets a bad rap. My dad detests it (although his food preferences are a bit suspect; that's the subject of another post!). I'm not rapturous about it, but it's hard to beat as the building block of a weekday meal. It's rich in protein and relatively low in calories. It's inexpensive ($2.29 for nearly a pound at Fresh Direct), and it takes on the flavors of whatever you're cooking. I usually include it in Asian-flavored foods since that seems the most natural, and the spicy sauces help give the tofu some, um, taste. Think of it like chicken - a blank canvas. Plus, I actually like the smooth, crumbly texture.

Last week I made a simple meal of tofu and vegetables. I put it over rice, and we had a satisfying two-dish supper. I made it primarily for Dave and me, so it was a bit spicy for Rosa, but she still devoured the tofu.

So now tofu is already a part of her cooking repertoire! I couldn't be more proud, although I'm sure her grandpa is sorely disappointed. Don't worry, Dad. Rosa still won't eat raw tomatoes - just like you.

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